If you follow a couple of top trainers and a handful of wellness bloggers, you’ve probably already seen an Instagram ad (or five) for MIRROR. Like Peloton before it, it’s a high-tech device that’s totally reinventing at-home workouts. Unlike Peloton’s bike or tread, it doesn’t really look like a workout machine. When you turn it off, it just looks like…a mirror. Like, a swank mirror you got at West Elm and hung on the wall, really.
Like a gym with a seriously diverse class line-up, it also offers all kind of different classes to satisfy every fitness personality. Think HIIT, dance cardio, yoga, barre, and more.
Intrigued by whether a mirror, (MIRROR) on the wall could really be the best at-home gym of all? I got all of the details on the trending gadget, here.
MIRROR is the brainchild of Brynn Jinnett Putnam, the super smart creator of one of New York City’s most advanced boutique workouts, Refine Method. Putnam has always been a voice for working out smarter (not just harder), and this tech-forward approach brings her fitness philosophy to the masses outside of Manhattan for the first time.
Okay, we’ve already established that it’s a mirror. So what’s the tech all about? Essentially the video screen is embedded in the glass. When you’re ready to work out, you turn it on and your trainer is standing there in front of you, leading you through the exercises. There are also other readouts on the screen like a countdown for each exercise and the overall workout, your heart rate (via a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor that comes with it or your Apple Watch), and calories burned. The device itself costs $1,496 and the monthly class membership is $39/month.
You can join classes live throughout the day (there are more than 50 each week) or access the entire library on-demand anytime you want. Classes are varied in terms of style (strength, cardio, Pilates, boxing, yoga, and more) and length. If you attend live, you’ll see the names of who else is in the class with you on the screen and the trainers will be able to give you shoutouts to encourage you or give you props for hard work. When the system launches personal training next year, the trainer will also be able to watch you via an embedded camera at the top of the MIRROR.
When you order MIRROR, it comes with “white glove” installation, which means the delivery people will set it up for you, either by hanging it in a designated spot on the wall or mounting it on a stand that allows it to lean against the wall (like a magazine rack). You could put it anywhere with enough space for a yoga mat in front of it, with maybe a little extra room on either side of the mat especially if you’re planning on doing cardio (you want to really go for those speed skaters, right?). This is really the best part of the MIRROR idea: It’s a guided workout at home, but without making your bedroom (living room, office) look like a home gym.
Okay, so here’s the thing. At first glance, MIRROR seems pretty advanced and amazing, and the tech that allows the video to play in the glass is definitely cool. But the weird thing is that the mirror aspect itself isn’t really adding a new element to the already well-established at-home workout video approach. In other words, what’s so different about working out in front of a video that’s in a mirror as opposed to working out in front of a video that’s on your laptop screen?
The most obvious answer is that it’s slightly more user-friendly in that it’s big and permanently positioned on the wall, so you don’t have to move stuff around every time you want to sweat (which can be a barrier in its own right if you’re pressed for time). Using MIRROR could also help you work on correct form if you’re paying attention to your squats and lunges and adjusting to make sure you’re nailing proper alignment. That’s not the sexiest selling point, but getting sidelined from an injury because you’re working out blindly is even less sexy, right?
It’s a really cool piece of tech, with a hefty price tag to match. For the boutique fitness buff that has everything? Or for someone with a New Years Resolution that needs stoking?
Would you try MIRROR? Share your thoughts on the new approach to at-home workouts in the comments below!